Thursday, January 18, 2018

I Like #51

Things to like this week!

1. I like kids!  This weekend I got to meet up with the Junior Daughters of the King, a prayer and service organization for young women at our church to help them make blankets to donate; an especially timely project given how cold it's been lately.  We made some of the tied fleece ones and we also used some pre-quilted fabric that I pieced into large squares and then let the girls stitch binding onto.  They did a great job with the sewing machine and it was a wonderful afternoon. 

2. The doggies sharing the poof!  I never know what they're going to do, but this week they shared.

3.  This week the Fiber Artists of Oklahoma visited a fiber art installation at Factory Obscura called Shift.  The whole gallery was filled with all kinds of fibery things-  it was immersive and very cool.  This was one of my favorite rooms, I can't even describe it, but it kept changing colors and had all these touch sensitive light up things. 

I tried taking a selfie in there but the exposure was off.  

Another room was filled with these giant pod things of varying heights.  Some were so close to the floor that you had to sit down to crawl inside, others were open on the side like enclosing seats.  The outsides were made out of knitted and crocheted and felted fiber.

The insides were all different.  This one had a sort of undersea theme,  this picture was taken while I was standing inside one of those pods above.

And this was a cool glow in the dark tunnel to crawl through that went under some of the other areas.  All in all it was a really really nifty exhibit.  So so much creativity on display.

4.  I like working on my illuminated projects!  I've been focusing on dimensional work lately but took a short break to make my 12x12 SAQA donation quilt for the year.  I'll have a full post on it next week, but here's a sneak peek.  The background is all openwork, so what looks like white/grey is actually just my wall showing through.

5.  My begonia is blooming!  The blooms were bigger a couple of days ago, but by the time I took a picture some of them had fallen off.  Some of the leaves are dry and crunchy, I'm not sure if it needs more water of if it's just cold.  I keep the studio heated, but it's been so cold lately that I worry that the area near the window is just chilly.  One benefit of the cold weather is that I'm getting to wear my hand knits and crocheted garments a bunch!

Thanks to LeeAnna for linking us up!

Monday, January 15, 2018

2017 Cotton Robin

I just realized that this has been sitting in my drafts folder, unpublished, for months!  I thought I'd go ahead and post it, since this is such a fun thing to participate in and I think Julie might do it again this year.

Once again this year I participated in the 2017 Cotton Robin, hosted by Julie Waldman.  Since all the final quilts have been shared, I'm going to go ahead and post the ones I worked on here.  It was tons of fun, and usually gives me just the bit of piecing I need to get me through another year.  For this round robin, you send of a center block about 9x9" and then it gets passed to three subsequent people, two of which sequentially add borders, then the third person quilts and binds it.

This was my center block, not actually pieced but appliqued, and I enjoyed getting to use a few fun scraps.

This was the first block I received, such a fun bird! And you can see the border I added in the next shot.

This was the second block I received, with one border already added.  You can see the second border I added below.  Fun houses!

 And this was the final quilt I received.  I forgot to take a picture before I quilted it, but I'm sure you get the idea.  I tried to make a few secondary patterns in the quilting like stars, and strawberries.  In the dark red border on the right, I quilted the word YUM!, but it's really hard to see.  It was fun to quilt though!!

And then just recently I got mine back.  I love it, and it's always great to see what other people are inspired to do based on your original block.  I love that everyone jumped on the bright colors; I love the little pieced girl (so fabulous!), I love the triangle piecing that echos my triangles in the center, and I love the bright hand quilting. 

Mine block was pretty abstract, so I had no idea what to expect.  It turned out great!  Thanks so much to Julie for organizing this again, it's always such a blast!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

I Like #50

Another week of I Likes!

This week has been mostly about getting back into the swing of things at work after the holidays, so there aren't too many super fun pictures to share.  But good things to talk about nonetheless, and the feel of life going forward.

1.  I like podcasts!  I mentioned this just a couple of weeks ago, and my great commenter Sally suggested the podcast Futility Closet.   It's has short (~10-15 minute) segments about forgotten historical events coupled with lateral thinking puzzles.  I've totally fallen in love- it's really fabulous (thanks Sally!!) and I've listened to almost three years of their episodes in the last three weeks.  I've basically had it constantly playing whenever I'm not at work.  I've almost caught up now, and I don't know what I'll do when I have to wait a week for a new episode.  It's just fun!

2. I like nice (mild) surprises! I got my new SAQA journal last week and when I sat down last night to read it, I flipped through it and saw my photoreceptor quilt staring up at me!  So cool!  A few months back I'd received an inquiry from SAQA about doing a feature on the SAQA OK/KS/MO regional exhibition Our Changing Landscape (for which I did a catalog), but after replying to them, I never heard back, so I thought they must have decided not to feature it.  I was thus pleasantly surprised to see my entry (among others) in the journal!

3. I like my pups!  Bentley and Bullett usually come out to the studio with me; the only sad thing is that there's no dog door in the studio, so when they hear something outside I have to stop and let them out.  But I love having them out there.  Recently Bentley has been sitting on the arm chair and Bullett on the poof, but for some reason the other day Bentley felt sure he had to be on the poof too.  Their antics never cease to entertain me.  I wish Bullett was more of a lap dog- he loves attention, but always sits just far enough away that I can barely reach him with the tips of my fingers.  I think he dose it on purpose.  Of course, it may also be because Bentley is invariably clambering into my lap and Bullett doesn't want to get trampled....

I hope everyone is having a good week and staying warm!  Thanks to Lee Anna for keeping us positive!

Monday, January 8, 2018

2017 Wrap-Up

2017 was a rough year for me, and blogging fell by the wayside.  Many weeks my I like posts were the only thing I managed to get up, and I'm so grateful to Lee Anna for keeping us going on those.  Sometimes I feel like I didn't really accomplish much on the creative front this year, but the act of going back through reminds me that I did!

2017 Quilts
1.  Confession.  This was started in 2016, but not finished until 2017.  I'm pleased to say it sold out of a show in the Episcopal Cathedral in Sacramento.  I miss it actually, but I'm glad it found a home with someone who loves it.

2.  Mammals of Oklahoma.  This was made for the SAQA Textile Posters show, and I'm pleased to say it got in.  I love this animal mandala design and it's something I'm likely to go back to at some point in the future.

3.  Listen Louder than you Sing.  I love this quilt.  It's one where the quilt turned out exactly how I envisioned it would, which is fairly rare for me.  It's touring around with Threads of Resistance right now.

4. Conformational Change.  This was one that assuredly did not come out the way I wanted, in fact, after finishing its run in the show for which it was made (Made in New Mexico: Structural Diversity at the NM State Capitol), I painted it and cut it up for a new quilt I'm working on.

5. VLA.  This one turned out ok.  I love the painted velvet sky, but I encountered a bunch of difficulties with the openwork.  It had the largest areas of openwork I've tried yet, and I learned a lot about how to deal with that, mostly by doing the wrong thing.   It definitely fits the call for which it was designed, Life Along the Rio Grande.

6. Experiments with Mariner's Compasses.  These were such fun to make.  They don't seem to be appealing to a broader audience, but I had a blast playing around with them.

7.  On Iris.  This was the second in my giant flower series, and I'm going to start a third one pretty soon I think.  I love mix of yellows and purples I got while painting.

8.  Self-Portrait of the Artist and her Father, c. 1988.  I made this for the SAQA Guns: Loaded Conversations call for entry.  Unfortunately, I didn't get in, but that's the way it goes!  I just realized I haven't blogged about this, hopefully I'll get a post written about it sometime soon!

In addition to these "main" art quilts, I also made some baby quilts, charity quilts, and other small quilts.  I also did a fair amount of crocheting and embroidery this year, thanks to the knitting group at church.

All-in-all I think this is a productive showing for me in 2017 and reassures me that I haven't been wasting my time willy-nilly.  In 2018, I'll be focusing on more dimensional work in preparation for an invitational group show for which I need 8 pieces in August.  I'm a bit stressed about it, so wish me creative thoughts!!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

I Like #49

More I Likes with words this week!

1.  I like my dad!  I like all my family really but I feel like he gets the short end of the stick on here because I'm doing so many fun crafty things with my mom that naturally lend themselves to blogging.  But I'm lucky enough to have a pretty awesome dad too.  It was wonderful to spend some time with him over Christmas, lots of singing together in the church choir, and we got to go out and shoot clay pigeons a couple of times.  My mom always says I'm just like my dad, and he says I'm just like her, really, I think like most kids, I have some of both!   I think they're most likely to say I'm like the other parent when I'm doing something about which they're complaining.  He looks and sounds more like my Grandpa all the time, so maybe my resemblance to him will continue to increase as I age.

Here he is sitting with some of the vast hordes of dogs that were home over Christmas.

Here were were out shooting clay pigeons.

And here he is with my sister and me at Daddy Daughter weekend at Girl Scout camp (Camp Mary White) around 1989-1990.

2.  I like unexpected treasures!  While digging out a large sketchbook for me to use, my mom found this superfun spur-of-the-moment calligraphy pressed between the pages.  It was done by her friend Bob Phillips, a New Mexico calligrapher.  As you can see, it's on paper towel (nutty!) and was clearly in commemoration of some specific event.  My mom said she'd completely forgotten about it (it's from 2009) but that it was from the New Mexico Arts and Crafts fair.  So cool!

3.  I like my mom's plants!  Luckily I was home during most of this week, so you guys are spared more pictures of my Christmas cactus.  Most of my mom's Christmas cacti were about done by the time I got here, but her sun/pool/plant room is full of wonders anyway.  My favorites include this unidentified yellow thing, and this giant begonia tree.  

4. I love hordes of dogs!  At home over Christmas we had at varying times, the following dogs, never dropping below a total of 6, and often as many as 8.  Frequent activity pauses for a dog count were necessary.

Belonging to my mom:  1. Jordy, 2. Shooter, and 3. Swatch.
Belonging to me: 4. Bentley, 5. Bullett
Belonging to my sister: 6. Checker, 7. Auto
Being long-term babysat by my mom: 8. Bones, 9. Dizzy

Bones (he only has three legs)

Bentley (L) Jordy (R), Middle from front to back:  Bullett, Swatch, Shooter, Dizzy

L to R: Bullet, Swatch, Shooter, Jordy



Auto (L) Checker (R), Jordy (distance)

5.  I love the winter birds!  My mom has bunches of these small pretty birds at her bird feeder, I'm not sure what they are.  And there's a roadrunner that lives in my Grandpa's front yard.  He feeds it hamburger, and it turns its back and puffs up if you get too close.


Here's to another year of positive thinking and I likes!  Happy 2018 and best wishes to everyone!  Thanks to LeeAnna!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

2017 Crafty Christmas Goodness

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I was privileged to have time off from the 22nd to the 1st, so was able to spend a long week with my family in NM.  It was lots of fun, relaxing and busy at the same time.  We took lots of hikes with the dogs, lots of sewing and crafting, and lots of time playing games (yay bridge) and other fun stuff with the kids.

As usual, I made ornaments for some of my family this year.  A few different ones, a Twitter one for Mike, and some other prairie point ornaments.  I got a bit tired of the prairie point ones, so got out some of this leather (or faux suede) fringe.  It was something I inherited rolls and rolls of from Georgia (thanks Georgia!!) and I thought it was really pretty wrapped around the balls.  I completed them with velvet or satin bows for a softer calmer tree ornament.

In the interest of not buying additional wrapping materials, I wrapped the ornaments in boxes I made out of cardstock.

On the crafty present front, I crocheted a bunch of dishcloths for family members.  There were about half a dozen but they were all mostly the same.  All dishcloths from my house will be made out of this brown/orange/white yarn for the foreseeable future because my sister gave me a giant cone of it and I refuse to buy any more until I've used it up.  It turns a fairly even shade of all-over orange after the first time you wipe a counter with bleach spray on it, but they're so nice and sturdy and scrubby.

I was quite lucky to receive two fabulous knitted presents this year myself.  One was this super fun rainbow seed stitch headband from my friend Jamie.  It's super warm and toasty and I've been wearing it every morning on my walks.  I didn't have a headband and had been thinking about making one,  it's usually cold enough that I want something to cover my ears, but I hate having a sweaty head so this was perfect.

My good friend Kristin sent me this gorgeous knit hat.  Her colorwork is exquisite; I've never owned a knitted thing as nice as this.  Importantly, it also is long enough to cover my ears, and isn't itchy, so I've been wearing it this last couple days that have been so very cold.  I love the colors, the turquoise blue and orange are so fun.

While at my mom's, I also decided to play with her machine embroidery set-up.  I have a Bernina with a machine embroidery unit, but I don't use it very often, largely because I'm usually doing other things at home.  But while on vacation it seemed like a fun thing to play with.

I started with these T-shirts for me, my mom, and my sister using a pattern from Urban Threads that says:  "I like to party, and by party I mean stay home in my PJs and Craft (or Make Art)."   Unfortunately, the shirt tail got stuck under the embroidery needle halfway through my mom's.  I was able to get it out, but managed to cut a hole in the shirttail, so decided to embroider leaves on it to cover the hole.  Becky liked the leaves so much she asked for leaves on hers to match.

The second embroidery project I did was this really cool mountain bear (pattern also from Urban Threads).  I did the first stitch out on the bottom back of my mom's coat and had no problems at all.  Unfortunately, when I got to my coat, somehow between the light purple and dark purple and between the dark navy and the dark purple, I must have bumped the machine or the jacket pulled or something because the design got way off.  See how the purple shading on the legs is way off the dark purple on the bear on the grey coat?  I was really aggravated because I was trying to be really careful, but I don't think it's too noticeable unless you're close.  In any case I can't change it now!

Evidently, my mom made that blue coat sometime in the late 70s or early 80s, so it's held up really really well!

Happy New Year to everybody!